Featured Words – October 2018

Ocotber 17, 2018 TIZON

Tizón is a partially burnt piece of wood; in English, “cinder” would be a close translation. Because of their blackish coloration, a group of fungi are also called tizones; some are pests infecting tomatoes and grains, including the famously edible huitlacoche or tizón del maíz , known in English as “corn smut.”


Se deben mover los tizones para avivar la fogata
It is necessary to stir the cinders to revive the bonfire


“In this study, Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of common corn smut or ‘huitlacoche’ has been genetically engineered to assess expression and immunogenicity of the B subunit of the cholera toxin (CTB), a relevant immunomodulatory agent in vaccinology.” – “The Corn Smut (‘Huitlacoche’) as a New Platform for Oral Vaccines”; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4514630/#

“En este estudio, Ustilago maydis, el agente causal del común tizón del maíz o ‘huitlacoche’ ha sido genéticamente modificado para caracterizar la expression e inmunología de la subunidad B de la toxina de cólera (TCB), un agente inmuno-modulador relevante en vacunología.” – “El tizón de maíz (Huitlacoche) como una nueva plataforma para vacunas orales”; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4514630/#

October 15, 2018 ESCABECHE

The word escabeche comes from the Arabic Persian form sikbâg – vinegared preparation. This Arabic form, “sicbédj” was sometimes pronounced “iskebech”, suffered further transformation into escabetx, then finally to the Castillian escabej, and modern Spanish escabeche. Although the technique was adopted by other European countries, it is generally accepted as Spanish; there is not an exact translation to English with just one word, but the technique may be described as food that is “fried and pickled.”


En la Antigua Persia, sikbâg se refería a un guiso de carne con vinagre y otros elementos similares al escabeche, citado en “Las mil y una noches”.

In ancient Persia, sikbâg referred to a dish of meat with vinegar and other elements similar to escabeche, cited in “One Thousand and One Nights.”


Escabeche is a typical Al-Andalus cuisine, prepared not only to give more flavor to a simple dish, like fried sardines or mackerel, but also to conserve food for longer, since the vinegar it carries serves as preservative …” – Educalingo.com

Escabeche es una cocina típica de AL-andalus, preparada no solo para dar más sabor a un platillo sencillo, como son sardinas o sierra fritos, sino también para conservar la comida por más tiempo, ya que el vinagre actúa como conservador …” – Educaingo.com

October 7, 2018 CRANBERRY

This is the name given to some of the shrubbery plants belonging to the genus Vaccinium (including V. oxycoccos, microcarpum and macrocarpum,) characteristic for their dark pink elongated blooms, and round dark red fruit, which is given the same name, traditionally eaten all throughout the Northern hemisphere. Native American tribes collected and consumed this fruit; the Narragansett people, who called the red berries, sasemineash, may have introduced cranberries to colonists in Massachusetts.  There are also other species native to North Asia and Europe.  The word in English derives from the German kraanbere – crane berry, since the flower resembles the neck, head, and bill of a crane.  The word in Spanish is arándano, although to avoid confusion with other berries from the same genus, it is sometimes called arándano agrio (sour) or arándano rojo (red).


Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment for turkey both in Great Britain and in Canada and the US.

La salsa de arándano es un acompañamiento tradicional para pavo tanto en la Gran Bretaña como en Canadá y los Estados Unidos.


“… if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, it tastes much more like prunes than rhubarb does … “ Groucho Marx

“ … si usted toma arándanos y los cocina como puré de manzana, saben más a ciruelas pasas que el ruibarbo …” – Groucho Marx